U21s Report: Arsenal 0 City 4

Leicester City’s Development Squad sealed their place in the top half of the Barclays U21 Premier League with an emphatic victory over Arsenal at Meadow Park on Monday night.
The league splits into two next season, with the Foxes now certain of a spot in the elite group thanks to the win, which came courtesy of a strike from Tom Hopper, a Ryan Watson brace and a Michael Cain’s late goal.

That result means Steve Beaglehole’s side are guaranteed at least eighth spot in the league, with just one home fixture against Manchester City remaining as well as a Hong Kong Soccer 7s tournament to look forward to during the summer. 

Despite Arsenal’s own lingering hopes of a top-half finish, the home side got off to a rocky start, and were behind after just six minutes of the match – Hopper alert to dispossess Tafari Moore and slide a cool finish under Matt Macey for 1-0. 

The energetic Foxes tried to press home their early dominance, with both Watson and Hopper denied goals by some excellent goalkeeping from a busy Macey in the ensuing minutes. 

But the second goal did finally arrive to put City firmly in the driving seat before half time, and it was Watson who got it. The midfielder latched onto a failed Gunners clearance from a corner, turned and found the corner himself with a drilled effort past Macey. 

After the break Arsenal threatened through Swedish dangerman Kris Olsson, but before they were able to gather a head of steam, Watson struck again to put the game beyond their reach. 

City’s Jak McCourt was upended by Stefan O’Conner, and an alert Watson ghosted past three Arsenal defenders before taking his time to fire a well placed finish through the legs of the Gunners’ ‘keeper for 3-0. 

Beaglehole’s side weren’t finished there though, as Jacob Blyth rattled the crossbar before Cain put the icing on the cake with a low effort past the goalkeeper to make it 4-0, 10 minutes from time. 

Next up for Leicester City Under-21s is a King Power Stadium clash against Manchester City on Wednesday 23 April – kick-off 7pm. 

ARSENAL: Macey, Moore, Mugabo, Olsson, Ajayi, O’Connor, Maitland-Niles (Kamara 70), Toral, Ansah, Eisfled, Iwobi (Lipman 70) 

SUBS NOT USED: Huddart, Siemann, Ormonde-Ottewill 

CITY: Smith, Sesay, Elder, McCourt (Dawson 80), St. Ledger, Kennedy, Panayiotou, Watson, Blyth (Barrington 83), Hopper, Dodoo (Cain 71) 

SUBS NOT USED: Simpson, Taft

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